Introducing the new superheroes of the networking world...no, not me!
SDN and NFV may look like the new superheroes of the networking world, but they are only foundation members of an orchestra now playing a dynamic network symphony.
In previous blogs, I discussed "SDN and its faithful sidekick NFV" through the lens of data centres and the emerging promise of extension into the WAN.
Hybrid WAN's are one thing, but software defined or "SD-WAN's"- as recently defined in this Gartner guide-are another. The key difference in my opinion; centralised control delivering a more agile model via automation. Add to this, the ability to unify previously disparate domains within a service orchestration model and we are now starting to do something really exciting.
Previous paragraph given you a headache? Here's the upshot. Next generation software-oriented models are changing the nature of networks.
In simple terms, customers want dynamic network services that deliver business outcomes on-demand and the agility to succeed in their markets, all charged on consumption.
In terms of agile network models, Telstra was fortunate to acquire Pacnet and the significant intellectual property associated with PEN.
PEN led the global market in terms of in-production SDN based connectivity solutions and has evolved to offer elastic "as a service" connectivity between 26 global data centres, supplemented by a VNF marketplace with the ability to not only dynamically interconnect DC but also connect to cloud providers and other PEN customers (B2B), all on-demand.
Telstra will leverage PEN as transport within further data centre interconnect launches and our recent - much anticipated - launch of Internet VPN demonstrates the true power of unified cross-platform orchestration.
Here is the marketing and the slightly more technical representations of Internet VPN:
Internet VPN is delivered via our strategic partnership with Cisco, using the VMS platform and the diagrams simplify what is happening "in the engine room" as customers, via a simple user interface, configure, order and watch in real-time as the network is "spun up" (that's cloud speak btw).
When we allow our customers to dynamically request and watch the real-time provisioning of VPN, a number of traditional networking portfolios are being unified in this experience. For my reckoning, there's four - Managed CPE,Network, Cloud, and Security.
Importantly, our customers don't need or want to know what elements are being brought together, they just want an agile VPN solution which - last time I looked - takes around eight minutes to activate.